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SIMPLE BUT FUN THINGS TO DO WITH YOUR DSLR AND LENSES

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Have some spare time and enough enthusiasm to get creative with your DSLR? Armed just with your Nikon DSLR and kit lens, you can try a few whacky experiments. These are not just fun to do, but can also turn out to be quite creative if you know what you’re doing. Here’s a few you can try to begin with.

Zoom bursts

You can try this with a DSLR and any zoom lens. Shoot in low light conditions. Mount your camera on a tripod, and focus on your subject. Make sure there’s enough light on the subject. Frame it by zooming in. Use Shutter priority auto (S mode) and select a shutter speed of 2 seconds or longer. Use exposure delay mode for blur free shots. Press the shutter release button and wait for the exposure to start. As soon as the exposure begins, start zooming out. Stop zooming out once the exposure ends. Check the results, try again, if you’re not satisfied!

Radial blur

Use a slow shutter speed around ½ sec or 1/4th second, in low light conditions. Try to move the camera a little bit on both sides in a clockwise or anticlockwise direction. If done correctly, the subject at the centre of the frame will appear sharp, with pleasing motion blurs all around.

Panning

Use slow shutter speeds with fast moving subjects and move your camera along with the subject while shooting to get the panning effect. Ideally, at least some part of the subject should appear frozen while the background is rendered a blur, due to the movement of the camera. Patience and practice are key to getting it right. Use continuous focus (AF-C) and continuous drive. Do not attempt in bright conditions.

Defocused abstracts

Try to shoot images while rendering them defocused. You’ll be surprised how interesting some mundane subjects appear when they are shot out of focus. Shooting them against light will make strong compositions.

Reverse macro

You’ll need the Nikon BR-2A reverse mounting adapter and a lens with 52mm diameter (like the 18-55mm) for this. Use the adapter to attach your lens in reverse. You can now focus at a very close distance to shoot extreme close ups of anything. Auto exposure and focus will not work with most lenses, but you can work out the exposure in Manual mode and with a little practice, get amazing macro shots.

Selective colour

You can use the effects mode (available in select models) to get attractive selective colour images. You need to shoot in live view mode and select the colours you want in the image using the three colour selector. Alternately, you can edit an image (all current models) using the retouch menu and use the selective colour tool to get the same effect.

selective-colour

Selective colour shot with the Nikon D5600

Multiple exposures and super-imposing

Using the multiple exposure mode, you can create interesting abstracts, special effects in your camera. Just shoot images that can make interesting when they’re super-imposed on each other. You can use a zoom lens to take one image zoomed in, and super-impose it on the zoomed out image.

multi-exp

Multiple Exposure shot with the Nikon D7500.

If your camera does not offer multiple exposure, you can use the image overlay feature in retouch menu to get similar effect, but only with RAW files.

Miniature effect

The Effects mode can be used (in select cameras) to create interesting miniatures out of regular landscapes and urban landscapes. Just shoot any street scene with cars and buildings using this mode.

mini-effect

Miniature effect shot with Nikon D3400